A Fundamental Rights petition filed by an environmental activist and an environmental organisation challenging the gazette notification issued by President Maithripala Sirisena in the capacity as the Environment Minister over garbage issue in the country, was yesterday fixed for support on August 9 by Supreme Court.
When the petition came up before Supreme Court two-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep and Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, the Attorney General sought further time to get instructions from the respondent parties.
The Environment Minister had issued a gazette notification bearing No.2015/53 dated April 20 under the Public Security Ordinance declaring that “all services, work or labour or any description whatsoever necessary or required to be done in connection with any undertaking performed or maintained by any local authority or for and on behalf of any such Local Authority for the clearance, collection, transportation, temporary storage, processing, separation, treatment, disposal and sale of street refuse, house refuse or other similar matter”.
Ranjith Sisira Kumara, an environmental activist and Centre for Environmental Justice filed the petition through counsel Ravindranath Dabare and Nilmal Wickremasinghe and Prabhani Samaraweera naming the Central Environmental Authority, the Attorney General and several others as respondents.
The petitioners sought an order declaring that the gazette notification bearing No.2015/53 is null and void and of no force avail in law.
The petitioners stated that the concerned Gazette Notification is a violation of the Fundamental Rights of the majority of the citizens as it paves the way for illegal dumping of garbage by the Local Authorities disregarding the public health sanitation, environmental sanitation and environmental stability causing danger of spreading vector diseases.
The petitioners sated that the gazette notification violates fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 12(1), 14(1)(a), 14(1)(b), 14(1)(c) and 14(1)(h) of the Constitution.
They further sought an order directing the respondents to formulate a procedure of management of waste and to formulate regulations and mechanisms of monitoring such activities.
Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva appeared for the Attorney General. (Daily News)